BACKGROUND: Nissan North America has annual total sales of 800,000 vehicles and more than 1,250 Nissan and Infiniti retailers in the U.S.

PLATFORMS: E.piphany E.4 runs on Windows NT.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The automobile industry is undergoing a significant shift in the way we are marketing and selling to customers. We at Nissan are committed to establishing an early lead in the area of customer relationship management. Nissan needed quick access to existing customer information to effectively grow and sustain customer relationships through targeted marketing programs. Nissan's U.S. marketing organization is extending its focus to better manage the customer relationship beyond the sale throughout ownership. Our goal is to sustain communication with our customers during ownership and retain them through a series of purchases. This means viewing transactions of how Nissan owners interact with the company in an integrated way over time. By correlating this information, Nissan is able to improve customer satisfaction and predict when and what an owner is likely to repurchase. In the past, Nissan accessed customer information from disparate databases. Without a consolidated view of customer data, Nissan was not able to fully support customer relationships or identify and reward loyal behavior. Nor were we able to accurately measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Previously, messages to Nissan owners consisted of a series of loosely coordinated communications blasts. This deficiency resulted in lower owner repurchase rates than our major competitors, and we knew we needed to change our communications strategies and customer handling processes.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Now that Nissan has seen the power and versatility of E.piphany's Web-based front end, we have revised our IT strategy. Instead of building multiple tools for our various functional groups or mainframe applications, we are now comfortable leveraging one leading-edge, Web-based solution to deliver multiple functionality. We are also beginning to use E.piphany to analyze Web-site usage and profile leads coming in from our Web site. Visitors to the Nissan or Infiniti Web site who inquire about cars such as the Infiniti I30 or the Nissan Xterra will soon receive sales and price information geared specifically to their configuration preferences such as color choice or optional equipment.

STRENGTHS: We chose to work with E.piphany due to its Web- based, user-friendly, integrated solution that brings together real- time analytic, campaign management personalization.

WEAKNESSES: Some statistical research analyst experts trained to use complex tools such as SAS may feel that E.piphany E.4 data mining applications are limited.

SELECTION CRITERIA: E.piphany provides a Web-based, user- friendly perspective on data and much needed analysis of Nissan's customer transactions. By delivering a better profile of buyers, the system helps determine if marketing campaigns are targeting the right customers and analyzes marketing response rates. Overall, the company can correlate information in ways that were not possible before. For example, Nissan can better gauge how a promotion offered to service customers stimulates second-time car sales. We previously never had a direct view into our customer data, and E.piphany not only provided us with that ability, but provided us with various and constructive ways to analyze that data as well.

DELIVERABLES: Nissan users save reports for future use within the tool, e-mail reports to other users and download reports to Excel on the occasions that additional spreadsheet manipulation is required. Marketing campaign lists are provided in tab or column formats or custom formats defined by letter shop support vendors.

VENDOR SUPPORT: E.piphany E.4 was deployed at Nissan within seven weeks. E.piphany was very knowledgeable about our business, identified the right people to run the project, created a user interface that worked for our applications and, most importantly, understood the complexity of our data and made suggestions for improvements to our back-end processes to be sure we were gathering the right data from legacy systems.

DOCUMENTATION: The product is very easy to use, requiring little training. We could have learned E.piphany solely on its documentation.

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